Rahm closes with a 66, ends memorable Masters week

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Jon Rahm, of Spain, hits his tee shot on the 16th hole during the final round of the Masters golf tournament on Sunday, April 11, 2021, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Jon Rahm had a great week before even getting to the Masters.

His stay at Augusta National wasn’t bad, either.

Rahm shot a 6-under 66 in the final round of the Masters on Sunday to tie for fifth place at 6 under — four shots behind winner Hideki Matsuyama.

Rahm shot even-par rounds of 72 on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The 66 on Sunday gave him 15 consecutive rounds of par or better at Augusta National, one shy of matching the record in that category held by Tiger Woods.

“It’s still a top five at a major with a great round on a Sunday,” Rahm said. “If anything, what is it, 15 straight rounds of even par or better here? Clearly, I like the place. I play good here. My year is coming up. Let’s hope it’s soon.”

His 2021 is already a banner year, even without a green jacket.

Rahm arrived at the Masters on Wednesday, the last player to get to Augusta National after he and his wife Kelley welcomed a son — Kepa Cahill Rahm — into the world on March 2. Rahm showed up, played nine practice holes and pronounced himself ready to go.

“I’m extremely happy. Let’s say the disappointment after the round lasts a lot less,” Rahm said. “I finish the round and I get a picture from Kelley, and no matter what I do, if I shoot 80 or 65, it’s the same feeling.”

CINK RETURNING

Stewart Cink’s 286th and final shot was a 5-foot putt of great importance.

It earned him an invite back to Augusta National next year.

There are 19 ways that a player can qualify for the Masters, one of them being by finishing 12th or better the preceding year. Cink tied for 12th, after shooting 2 under for the week.

“I think I can definitely compete and win a major right now,” Cink said. “I’ve never played with the kind of control I’m playing with right now. I never have. I’ve been ranked highly in the world, but right now, I feel like I have a lot of good things going throughout the whole bag, all the way down from driver to putter.”

And one big key: His caddie. Who just happens to be his son.

Reagan Cink is carrying the bag for his father, and Stewart Cink said “he’s the key ingredient in the key lime pie right now.”

Sharing a good week at the Masters only made the father-son, father-caddy relationship better.

“It was just really fantastic,” Stewart Cink said. “He’s caddied for me this season, so it’s not like him caddying is new, but caddying at the Masters is a whole different ballgame. … He just did a fabulous job.”

SPIETH’S RECORD

In 85 years of the Masters, nobody had birdied the par-4 10th hole in all four rounds.

Until now.

Jordan Spieth made a 3 there in each round of this year’s Masters. Prior to this year, six players — including Spieth in 2015 and Hideki Matsuyama in 2017 — had birdied the 10th three times in the same Masters, but Spieth is the first to go 4-for-4 there.

WASTED BIRDIES

Robert MacIntyre led the Masters in birdies this week, with 21.

He finished the tournament 2 under.

MacIntyre nearly wasted them all, with 17 bogeys and one double bogey as well on his cards. Add it all up, and he didn’t even make par on half his holes — out of the 72 played, he had just 33 pars.

Cameron Champ also had an all-or-nothing week when it came to scoring. He had 19 birdies and shot 1 over for the tournament, thanks to 14 bogeys and three double bogeys.

Champ wasn’t alone in the high-birdie, not-low-score formula. Collin Morikawa and Sebastian Munoz each made 18 birdies this week; Morikawa finished at 1 under, Munoz at 4 over.

Morikawa had 13 bogeys and two double bogeys, both of those at No. 11 in the final two rounds. Munoz was all over the place, with 15 bogeys, two double bogeys and a triple bogey.

QUICK GETAWAY

Matt Jones finished his final round of the Masters and didn’t have plans for any sort of end-of-week celebration with family and friends.

He had a 6:15 p.m. flight home to Arizona, for three very good reasons.

“I’ve got three young girls at home, so I’ve been away from home,” Jones said. “My wife has been here with me, so she’s been away, as well.”

Having breakfast with the kids on Monday was the priority over a final dinner in Augusta on Sunday.

FLEETWOOD’S NEAR MISS

Nobody has ever made two holes-in-one in their Masters career.

Tommy Fleetwood nearly made two in this tournament.

Fleetwood aced the 16th on Thursday, and came close to another at the 6th on Sunday. His tee shot was right on line, hit the pin but didn’t bounce straight down and came instead to a stop a few feet away. Fleetwood tapped in for birdie.

DECHAMBEAU STRUGGLES

It was a largely unspectacular week for Bryson DeChambeau, who shot 75-75 on the weekend and finished 5 over for the week.

His length has been the talk of golf, but his accuracy was nowhere near the level he needed to contend this week. DeChambeau missed 25 of 56 fairways, his 55% rate of hitting them well below the field average.

“You’ve still got to hit it straight out here,” said Harris English, who played with DeChambeau on Sunday. “You can hit it as far as you want, but if you’re playing out of the trees all day, it’s not going to be good. But his good ones were good, and his off-line shots he got penalized.”

BAREFOOT AGAIN

Billy Horschel took his shoes and socks off at the par-5 13th — again.

For the second day in a row, Horschel took off his shoes and socks, rolled up his pants and took a stroll in the creek that runs through the 13th hole.

It didn’t go as well Sunday as it did Saturday.

After knocking his tee shot into the tributary Sunday that feeds into Rae’s Creek, Horschel tried to hit it out. Twice. Both efforts were futile, which forced him to take an unplayable lie that cost him another stroke.

He wound up with a triple-bogey 8, spoiling what had been a good round to that point. He shot a final-round 76, finishing the week tied for 50th at 8 over.

On Saturday, Horschel had better luck after dunking his second shot into the creek where it winds in front of the green. Going into the water with bare feet — and after taking a slip down a slope — he was able to knock it on the green and make a 5.

LOOKING AHEAD

The second Sunday of April is the traditional end of Masters week, which means the next five tournaments are set for April 7-10, 2022; April 6-9, 2023; April 11-14, 2024; April 10-13, 2025; and April 9-12, 2026.

THEY SAID IT

Jordan Spieth, on Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama: “When he’s on, it’s an absolute stripe show.”

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AP National Writer Paul Newberry contributed to this report.

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